THE WORD IN COLOSSIANS
In Colossians the stress is not on the Spirit but on the Word. Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” The parallel verse in Ephesians 5:18 says, “Be filled in spirit.” One says the word; the other, the spirit. The result of both is the same: singing, speaking, and praising the Lord. The word of Christ in Colossians 3:16 is the Spirit. Letting the Word dwell in us richly equals letting the Spirit fill us.
THE PRACTICAL ENJOYMENT OF CHRIST
How are we to experience this Christ, the One who as the Spirit is the rich land to us? How does He bountifully supply us? The key is found in the two spirits, which are one (1 Cor. 6:17). In our spirit is this very One who Himself has become the Spirit.
Stay in this mingled spirit. Return whenever you find you are away.
How can you remain in, or return to, this mingled spirit? It is by praying and by reading the Word. Do not allow yourself to be distracted by your circumstances. All other things are contrary to Christ. Christ is contrary to all other things. Pray to contact Him. Pray by reading the Word. These two things will keep you in the spirit. Then you will taste and experience Christ. He will be whatever you need, whether it is light, strength, wisdom, or victory. Do not seek these things themselves. Seek the living Person.
This will give the Lord the opportunity to fulfill His word, “I will build My church” (Matt. 16:18). This building is accomplished by the believers remaining in the mingled spirit. Then the Body of Christ can be built up. In the mingled spirit is the mystery of God and of Christ. Here are His riches and the Spirit’s bountiful supply. Here is the good land where we should walk.
THE CORINTHIAN ENJOYMENT OF CHRIST
There are two passages in 1 Corinthians that indicate that the church in Corinth was only in the initial stage of the enjoyment of Christ. “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us….And did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ” (5:7; 10:4).
The children of Israel were in Egypt when they enjoyed the Passover lamb, and in the wilderness when their thirst was quenched by the living water that flowed out of the rock that followed them. To enjoy Christ as the Passover pertains to salvation and the exodus from the world. Christ as the rock supplying living water is for the beginning period of the Christian life.
The church in Corinth was in this elementary stage. It was characterized by worldliness and wanderings in the soul. Thus their enjoyment of Christ was not mature.
THE MATURE ENJOYMENT OF CHRIST
When we come to the writings of Paul to the Colossians and Ephesians, however, we find that their enjoyment of Christ was as the good land. This is the mature stage.
Colossians 1:12 says, “Giving thanks to the Father, Who qualified you for a share of the portion of the saints in the light.” What the Apostle Paul had in mind here was the good land, which was allotted to the twelve tribes of Israel when they entered it. Our portion means the part of the good land allotted to us.
Christ in Colossians is no longer merely the Passover or the manna, but rather the final portion of God’s chosen people, that is, the good land. Colossians 2:6 bears this out: “As therefore you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him.” We could not walk in the Passover lamb or in the manna, but Christ as the good land is spacious and rich. Our lot is a rich land that produces many Passover lambs and many grains, as well as oil and wine.
Christ in this book is “all and in all” (3:11). Such a description does not fit the Passover lamb nor the manna; only the good land can be described in such an inclusive way.
The same is true of “the unsearchable riches of Christ,” a term found in the book of Ephesians (3:8). The Passover lamb and the manna cannot be considered as unsearchably rich. Christ’s unsearchable riches are surely the rich produce of the good land.
(Life Messages, Vol. 2 (#42-75), Chapter 16, by Witness Lee)